Posted by: Debby Durkee | June 1, 2010

Jindal tries and Obama stifles.

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Jindal tries and Obama stifles.

Could this be the reason Obama isn’t helping Louisiana? Because Bobby Jindal is a rising Republican star and Obama doesn’t want him to get any credit for saving the Gulf Coast? Is this why Obama has approved only two percent of Governor Jindal’s request for berms to deflect the oil from Louisiana’s fragile wetlands? Does Obama see Jindal as a political enemy rather than a governor of a state that is requesting federal help in cutting red tape? As much as I wouldn’t want to think that, if it is true, it would not be surprising when it comes to this thin-skinned, narcissist who is dithering as the oil fouls the coast. This column doesn’t come right out and say that, but it does imply that Team Obama might be afraid that if the berms do work, they might look incompetent (and therefore, Jindal look competent). This is from Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Examiner.

On May 11, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal requested emergency dredging and berm-building to protect his state’s fragile coastal wetlands and barrier islands from the spreading oil slick.

After weeks of delay, and only after Jake Tapper’s press conference question to President Obama last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency approved part of the plan — 2 percent of the plan, to be specific.  Snip –

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has this to say about the Obama Administration’s slowness to react to Jindal’s request.

“His decision on the emergency dredging barrier-island plan is a thinly veiled ‘no.’ Approving 2 percent of the request and kicking the rest months down the road is outrageous, absolutely outrageous.”

Outrageous but consistent with a president practicing policy-by-paralysis. Obama is so afraid of doing the wrong thing, he isn’t doing anything except retailing stories of his daughter’s concern over the disaster.

“There are really only two options here for the federal government — either the sand boom works or it doesn’t. We already know it does. We have seen it work,” Jindal is quoted as saying by Houma Today. “If it does, they need to move quickly on getting BP to pay for all the other segments in our plan — just as they said they will do for this first segment. We want our entire sand boom coastal-protection plan approved, and we are continuing to ask the federal government and BP to approve this plan.”  Snip –

As details emerge of the unexplainable delays and stonewalling of the obviously necessary berms, more questions will be asked about why the delays occurred.

Unlike the immediate aftermath of the explosion itself, the halting, incoherent nature of the federal reactions reflect the president’s own management style and his refusal to push the bureaucrats working for him to take actions outside of their paper-thick comfort zones

Incredibly, the president’s team has cited the fear that too many berms would alter tidal movements, as though that theoretical worry trumps the very real oil headed toward shore…

The story of the berms permit and the president’s ineptitude will be the focus of intense scrutiny for years, and if the 2 percent works, the weeks of delay before that beginning was allowed and the delay before the 98 percent followed will be a stain on the Obama presidency that lasts longer than the oil on the shore.

Which is one very powerful reason why Team Obama may be dragging its collective feet: They aren’t afraid it won’t work. They are scared to death it will, and that their incompetence in authorizing the effort will be as clear as the oceans around the ruptured pipe are dark.

The time for politicizing is long over. The paralysis of the Obama Administration is a real threat to the Gulf Coast of the United States, and instead of trying to look like they’re in charge, they need to actually make some tough decisions and make them quickly because devastation will be tough to hide and tough to deflect onto someone else, but you know that idea is paramount in The One’s mind. Can’t you just see his team attempting to set Jindal up to take that hit? Oh, yeah, can’t blame Bush, but there’s a Republican nearby, and a Republican who could be a rival in 2012. You can’t let a good crisis go to waste. Jindal had better watch his back. Read all of Hewitt here:


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